Equal-Opportunity Threat

Stormwater poses problems for everyone, no matter where you live.

Stormwater is a powerful force, and few are out of its reach.

I live in the country. I’m on a septic system. My house is on high ground. But I’m still not out of reach from stormwater’s impact.

Northern Wisconsin isn’t a heavily flood-prone area. While the northern part of the state is covered with more small lakes than just about anywhere else in the world — sorry Minnesota — flooding isn’t common.

That said, much of my local area is under a flash flood watch as I write this. We’ve had a high level of precipitation over the past couple years, water levels are high, and while we went through a bit of a midsummer dry spell, the skies have opened up again over the past couple weeks. So with a storm moving in that’s projected to bring 4 to 5 inches of rain, there’s potential for problems.

The people who built my house and graded the site several decades ago weren’t so careful with the front side of the house, and the driveway and walkway slope from the road all the way in to my front porch. When it rains hard, the water runs right toward the foundation of the house. The occasional summer storm doesn’t pose any significant problems, but when the mountains of snow and ice along my driveway begin melting in spring, that side of the basement can get a little damp.

There’s another concern on the back side of the house. I have a small deck off an upstairs bedroom on that side of the house. The frame of the patio doors that open up to it was rotted, as was the deck itself. Then one rainy evening a couple months ago, water started pouring in through the trim around the patio doors in the living room below. The next day I temporarily covered everything I could with silicone, but I knew it was time to replace all of it.

A couple weeks ago I tore out the doors, deck, and some siding. Long story short, the demo revealed some of the original builder’s sins, and the project has grown in scope and stretched on longer than expected. (Most of my projects do.)

Since I opened it up a couple weeks ago, I’ve had to scramble a few times to get things temporarily sealed up and protected from looming storms. Luckily, I have a three-day weekend coming up and blue skies are in the forecast. I’ll get my house buttoned up and won’t have to worry about the weather again any time soon.

Others, many of the people you serve, aren’t so lucky. Water and wastewater get more pages in Municipal Sewer & Water, but storm-water management is no less important. Whether in the city or the country, on a septic system or connected to a municipal sewer system, everyone is affected one way or another by stormwater. It is an equal-opportunity threat.

We address some of the impacts of stormwater, as it relates to wastewater systems, in I&I magazine. From illegal connections and failing pipe to sanitary sewer overflows and treating clearwater, the magazine addresses the serious problems stormwater causes in sanitary systems and, more importantly, solutions you can employ.

The new issue of that publication is out this month. Many of you received it with this copy of MSW.

I hope you’ll take a look. Enjoy this month’s issue.


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